Major green project underway

By James MortlockTHE first 10 tonnes of plastic, cardboard, paper and metal cans collected as part of a major green initiative have gone for recycling.

By James Mortlock

THE first 10 tonnes of plastic, cardboard, paper and metal cans collected as part of a major green initiative have gone for recycling.

Special blue bins are being introduced across the St Edmundsbury borough and Forest Heath district between now and March next year – and the first pile of dry recyclable material has been picked up from homes in Culford and the Fornhams near Bury St Edmunds.

Jeremy Farthing, St Edmundsbury cabinet member for the environment, said: "It may be only household rubbish, but this pile represents a real success story. Until this week, all this material would have been put into landfill.

"Burying all our rubbish in a hole is no longer an option, but thanks to the enthusiastic support of our residents, in just one day we have managed to collect 10 tonnes. This will now be turned into all sorts of useful items such as fleece jackets, road cones, plastic pipes, newspapers and stationery.

"It means that in the first few days of the new scheme we are recycling two-thirds of household waste, including the dry material and garden waste in the brown bins."

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Residents of villages north of Bury St Edmunds and people living on the Mildenhall Road and Howard estates on the outskirts of town were the first to receive the blue bins.

The next St Edmundsbury phase will include homes in the villages between Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council and neighbouring Forest Heath District Council – where blue bin collections begin at the end of the month – have been given more than £3million of Government funding over the past two years to develop recycling and waste reduction ideas.

The money has bought the blue bins, extra vehicles to collect them and paid for the building of a waste transfer station at the Lackford Landfill Site.

Mr Farthing said the initial response to the scheme had been excellent and added: "I am delighted with the level of support for our new blue bin scheme. This really is an excellent start and we would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has sorted their rubbish.

"We would just like to ask people to remember to take the tops off plastic bottles so they crush easily. Don't wrap waste for recycling in plastic bags – just bin it – and please rinse out food containers because at some point people have to sort this rubbish by hand."

The introduction of the blue bins will help St Edmundsbury Borough Council achieve its target of recycling 33% of household rubbish in 2003/04 and 40% in 2004/05.